Complaint alleges that a $61,000 expenditure by the Collins campaign violated Maine law


Today, the Maine Ethics Commission considered a complaint alleging that Senator Susan Collins illegally used federal campaign funds to explore a possible run for governor.


In 2017, Collins’ campaign spent $61,000 on a poll that, according to a leaked internal memo, assessed her position in a potential GOP gubernatorial primary. But according to Maine law, funds received “for the purpose of deciding whether to become a candidate” were not allowed to exceed $1,600 that year. Last week, the Maine Ethics Commission staff noted that the question central to the complaint was a “valid” one to be considered.


This isn’t the first time that Senator Collins’ shady campaign practices have come under scrutiny. Last fall, Maine Democrats filed a complaint against 1820 PAC for making an illegal $300,000 in-kind contribution to Collins’ campaign by running an ad that relied on b-roll that her campaign posted online. 1820 PAC has also been hit with a campaign finance complaint after a likely straw donor scheme was uncovered by the Campaign Legal Center.